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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I love this site. I've learned a ton from it. I need some expert advice now.

I have a design for a shirt that wraps around the collar. The design is on a black shirt. The design is a greyscale image which needs to have the highest resolution as possible. It is of a scarf, and I need the shadows to come out clean.

90% of screen printers in my area told me they couldn't do it.

I found one guy reasonable enough in price, that I've used before. It didn't work. As you may expect, the seams and collar did not allow for a crisp, clean print like I wanted.

We decided they CANNOT be screenprinted. We did however find some scrap transfer paper backing, and print the design on it. We then heat pressed the design and peeled it (cold), it came out beautiful.

Now the paper backing was a remnant of a box of letters and numbers my screen printer ordered for a site similar to sites mentioned in other posts...

Now the questions...

Will screenprinting onto transfer paper backing, and heat pressing the design be as durable and crack resistant as normal printing?

Can I simply screen print plastisol ink onto screen paper backing?

Where can I buy paper I can screen print on, and press directly to the shirt?

Is there any kind of special adhesive used in conjunction with ink when making transferable designs?

Are there any ways to print a consistent quality image that wraps around a collar and is to look like one fluid print? (The shoulder seam is not too big of a concern if we cannot cleanly print on it)

What screen mesh and LPI should I use for printing a high res greyscale image onto paper, and pressing it which will give me the best, most photorealistic print?

IF someone can break down as best as they can, the process of making my own transfers using plastisol ink and a very expensive and professional screen printing machine (my friend's shop), I would be greatly appreciative. We have white plastisol ink by the bucket, 108 shirts - 8 test shirts, and almost no budget left. Paper is about all we can afford, and everywhere I have found has tried to sell me paper you can print out of a printer.

Just for kicks, does anyone know if that would work?

Thanks in advance for anyone dedicating some time to help me out. I really need it! :)
 

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I can help you with some of your questions:

1. Ace Transfer Company, Inc. sells platisol transfer paper. They cost roughly 7-10 cents in quantity of 100+. Do not use inkjet/laser paper. That would be a disaster.

2. Plastisol tranfers are as durable as printing directly.

3. You may be able to accomplish the wrap around effect with careful placement and if your design will allow for overlaping of transfer images.

4. Have you seen the tutorial on making plastisol transers? http://www.t-shirtforums.com/t-shirt-articles/t14049.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help! I found that link a little bit after my post. I have a pretty good idea now about how to make them.

I guess my problem now is finding a local brick and mortar store which sells what I need and buying and printing all of this. I am totally in a rush. Otherwise, I would use that site...

What is the best way to print photorealistic greyscale images with this process? (i.e. mesh count, angles, settings etc)
 

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Printing the transfers is mostly the same as printing shirts. Tell your friend to contact his ink manufacturer and they will educate him on what needs to be done and tell him what supplies he needs.

At this point you would be ahead of the game to use a major vendor, by the time your friend finds & buys the supplies plus learns how to make them, you probably won't be saving any time. The materials may not even be available locally. Personally I use F&M but I've read that Versatranz is probably the quickest usually getting orders out the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We ran into a huge problem!!! We pressed all of the shirts. The fronts came out fine. The back, did not. Both sides were printed and stacked. (Cold Peel) We did not peel them until today, and as we started, the ink kept flaking up. What do I do?

I don't have a heat press!!!

Will an iron work?

Should I not wait that long to peel them?

Its not sticking!! The shirt is 100% cotton and the ink is plastisol. What can I do to save these shirts???
 

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We ran into a huge problem!!! We pressed all of the shirts. The fronts came out fine. The back, did not. Both sides were printed and stacked. (Cold Peel) We did not peel them until today, and as we started, the ink kept flaking up. What do I do?

I don't have a heat press!!!

Will an iron work?

Should I not wait that long to peel them?

Its not sticking!! The shirt is 100% cotton and the ink is plastisol. What can I do to save these shirts???
How did you press the backs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We pressed the fronts, left the paper on, stacked them, pressed the backs and stacked them. There was at least an hour between pressing the front and the back...
 

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David, you'll get more help if you volunteer information rather than making people work so hard to find out. A day ago you didn't even know how to make transfers so we don't even know if you made them correctly, we don't know how you did it, what equipment you used, what times and temperatures you used; we don't know any of that stuff.

Did you do any tests before pressing all the shirts? Did you contact the ink manufacturer? Have you tried repressing the backs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay sorry, I guess I was just frustrated...

Let me slow down and fill you in...

My printer uses a shop that has a huge, hydraulic and automatic silk screen machine. He has a conveyor dryer that dries the shirts or ink that is the size of two of my cars. The machinery is professional.

Now, we printed with one pass, and flashed the inks for about 2-3 seconds. (Not exactly sure.)

I pressed the shirts, and as I did so, I noticed the ink was gelled but not dry.

We did a test shirt and it came out perfect.

I used a heat press to press the shirts for 20 seconds. at 400. (I tried 10-15 seconds on 375 as most recommend, but the half of the ink didnt stick)

I do not have access to that shop to fix the shirts (its far away) so i have to fix them at home.

We tried pressing the shirts with heavy pressure with a home iron on the hottest setting. It helped the ink stick a lot better. There are small spots with detailed gradients that arent sticking well, and I can see several spots with more opaque white areas (the color of the print) that do not look embedded in the fibers of the shirt. I fear these will easily peel in the future...

Now what?
 

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Did you use adhesive powder?

I do not gel my plactisol at unless i am storing them.

My press is set to 378
17 seconds
High pressure( for flat smooth image) I use med-high if i want a little thinkness

BUT I do only hot split.
Are you sure you do not have hot split only paper??

I have only had 5 shirts out of about 200 mess up and not split
3 where because of too low temp 1 was not enough pressure And the other the shirt folder over when i burnt my hand :( \


I'd say if you had the temp right and it was more then enough time being pressed,
There was either not enough pressure, Or the wrong paper
 

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I just put the transfer power on them, And then transfer them.

i have not had a problem, In fact, when printing on black it seem to work better, make a more solid color.

The first time i did this just playing around because i messed up a print. It seemed to look better, So i tried again. And now That is how i do them all, If i am not storing them more then 24 hours.

This does not work as good with multi color images, Some times the ink will bleed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Did you use adhesive powder?

Are you sure you do not have hot split only paper??
NO adhesive powder.

Very sure it is cold peel. I printed on black shirts, and the supplier of the paper recommended cold peel for opaque prints... I pressed for 20 seconds on high pressure...

If we didnt gel the transfer, the print would have smudges in the placement process. The desig is intricate, and therefore any smudge would be highly noticeable...

Now what?
 

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You want the ink to be just dry to the touch after running it through the dryer. If you've already pressed the shirts adhesive powder won't help. It's very possible that the collar is preventing the transfer from getting even (or enough) pressure. Ironing rarely yields satisfactory results. I hate to say it but this is exactly why I suggested you outsource your first order and wait to experiment when you weren't in a rush. In printing you quickly learn that if there isn't time to do it correctly the first time, where will you find the time to redo it. Hopefully someone has a suggestion for saving the shirts.
 

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I just put the transfer power on them, And then transfer them.

i have not had a problem, In fact, when printing on black it seem to work better, make a more solid color.

The first time i did this just playing around because i messed up a print. It seemed to look better, So i tried again. And now That is how i do them all, If i am not storing them more then 24 hours.

This does not work as good with multi color images, Some times the ink will bleed.
But if you are basically transferring as soon as you print why not just print directly to the garment?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I hate to say it but this is exactly why I suggested you outsource your first order and wait to experiment when you weren't in a rush. In printing you quickly learn that if there isn't time to do it correctly the first time, where will you find the time to redo it. Hopefully someone has a suggestion for saving the shirts.
I could not find 1 professional printer to take the job...
 
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